Savor the last few days of summer with this arugula, quinoa, and fresh fig salad. It’s not only beautiful and seasonal — it’s jammed with nutrients, too.
The Health Benefit of Figs
Although dried figs are available throughout the year, there is nothing quite like a fresh, juicy fig in the late summer months. Flavorful, fragrant, and oh-so-sweet with a delicious seedy bite, fresh figs are a seasonal fruit to gobble up while you can.
Fresh figs are abundant in a variety of vitamins and minerals including vitamin B6 and K, copper, manganese, calcium, and potassium. They also contain a hefty dose of fiber, which aids in digestive regularity, and antioxidants noted to reduce free radical damage and protect cells against disease.
In fact, a variety of different antioxidants are found in the leaves, fruit, pulp, and skin of fresh figs, according to this 2015 study. Dried figs, BTW, may even contain even more antioxidants, which is a good excuse to snack on those when the fresh ones are not available.
A 2014 review showed that figs have been used in over 40 medicinal applications for the treatment of diseases like anemia, cancer, diabetes, liver diseases, paralysis, skin diseases, and ulcers, among others.
There are hundreds of varieties of figs, but only a few can commonly be found at the supermarket. Look for Black Mission figs, which are deep purple with pink flesh, or Brown Turkey figs, which have maple-brown skin and purple-pink flesh. Other varieties to look for are Sierra, Calimyrna, King, and Kadota figs.
This fresh fig salad is made up of fresh and peppery arugula, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, and a tangy balsamic vinegar dressing. It’s great to have alongside a picnic or barbecue, and makes a pretty presentation at dinner parties. And it’s most definitely a delicious way to savor sweet summer.
Photos by Kate Gavlick